Emily Magpie

Welcome to the mesmerising world of Emily Magpie - a prizewinner at this years Future Sound of Bristol competition.

Her fusion of soaring vocals, sunshine guitar, ambient loops and driving synth transcends traditional pop structures and Emily, working with her bandmates Kieran Ball and Max Harrison, brings a live rawness to her sound. Her EP, She, is a glimpse into what we can expect from this prodigious rising talent, and the track Down in the Deep, is an immersive listen exploring Emily’s own experiences of being a woman.

Hailed as “spine-tingly special” (by The Line of Best Fit) she talks to us today about her experiences, influences, and what we can expect from Emily Magpie in the future.

Congratulations on winning 3rd place at the Future Sound of Bristol competition! How did that feel? And do you have any plans yet for the studio time?

Thank you so much! I’m halfway through production and mixing on my next project, an album to follow this EP (She - out now), so the funding came at the absolute perfect moment to enable me to finish it in May! We’ve got some exciting live gigs coming up over the summer and need to get rehearsing the new material for those, so we’re gonna be in the studio plenty shaping up the new tunes!

That’s great to hear! Heading back to the very beginning though - how did you first get into music?

I’ve always sung, tinkered about with different instruments and written poetry from a young age, but it was maybe 10 years ago I started writing songs and experimenting with producing the audio worlds around them that my project started forming.

You’ve just released new tracks here at Audiotarky. What inspires your unique sound?

So much! My inspirations have always been eclectic because there’s so much out there which is inspiring. I love artists such as Sylvan Esso, Sudan Archives, Moses Sumney, and Anna Wise. I love philosophy, nature, and manipulating found sounds. Whatever excites me and calls to me weaves its way in. Creating music is a form of meditation and magic for me, so when I’m creating it’s all about that flow and what feels good. Then you step back and try to make sense of what you’ve created.

Your work is very hypnotic and visceral. How has your sound evolved over the years?

It all comes from the same source/centrepoint - the heart, I guess. But my taste and technical skill is always changing which I find so exciting. I never want to make the same thing again. I’ve been working more recently with my band mates Kieran Ball and Max Harrison who have brought their incredible musicianship and creativity to the EP. Bouncing off others is expanding the sound in really cool ways. I’m always looking to create something I’ve never heard before.

How do you write your songs? What’s your approach?

Sometimes I get words bouncing around my head and have to scribble them down or leave voice notes on my phone, sometimes it’s a chord progression / loop I love and write to that. It varies but I’m always a sucker for a ‘hook’- there’s got to be something that grabs my attention and then I get obsessed with it, and find the rest of the song from there. Normally these bones emerge and then it’s about finding the audio world that fits around it.

What would you say is your proudest accomplishment as a musician?

To keep creating! Honestly, it’s hard to be an artist in this society. You spend so much time broke, juggling various jobs, carving out time to do what you love, hustling to make money from it so you can do it more. The arts aren’t valued enough within our society, by our government, even though they are are a massive part of many of our lives on a personal level. Creativity and freedom isn’t valued enough. That should change.

Absolutely. Tricky question I know, but in a dream scenario, if you could collaborate with anyone, who would you pick and why?

Anna Wise. She is amazing. Or maybe James Blake. I love that singer- songwriter/producer/electronic crossover point.

Finally, what do you think makes the Bristol music scene unique?

Bristol has a fantastic energy. There’s a sense of freedom here I’ve not experienced in the same way elsewhere. People are excited to try and find new things, which makes the scene very diverse, boundary pushing and welcoming. I’m a massive fan of Bristol in general, great people everywhere.


15th July- Readipop Festival, Reading

10th September - Bjork Night with Wig in a Box @ Rough Trade, Bristol

Emily Magpie

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